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Hurlevent in Paris

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I saw it yesterday evening, and will see the other cast tonight. On the whole I liked it (and especially the great scenography) but wasn't really convinced by the music- and it's really hard to understand when one hasn't read the novel. It was very successful (full house, lots of applauses). There are some links about it in the "links" section, I think. I'll write more about it later...

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Saw it on Saturday night March 2nd. Or rather, saw Act One. Walked out before Act Two, along with a musician friend, who spent the hour scrutinishing the cupola's Chagall fresco. He found it more action-packed.

Terribly boring. So boring, that events in the orchestra pit more worthwhile. Vello Pahn conducting. Turgid, difficult score. Orchestra wide awake - unusually - to navigate serried ranks of obstacles.

Pahn regularly conducts for the ballet, had clearly sat in on rehearsals, and realised that the ballet was a/ unmusical and b/that the dancers were going strictly by the counts, so no worry about their phrasing, rubato etc.

He accordingly did not raise his eyes to look at the on-stage debacle once. Just conducted straight through, on automatic pilot. Great fun...

Had been looking forward to Mr. Belarbi's work as a choreographer. Sorry news: this particular piece is warmed-over Pina Bausch, with a bit of Agnes B. de Mille thrown in for good


Incidentally, the world has had enough of Bum Lifts. A Bum Lift is a thing "pioneered", if that is the word, by that woman Pina Bausch. The man picks up the girl, who is folded in two like a tea-towel, and presents her bum to the audience. She then straightens her legs, going from tea-towel, to shower-curtain. Strictly for cellulite lovers, as Clement Crisp has remarked on another memorable occasion.

Bournonville did not like lifted at all. Perhaps there was something of the prophet about him after all. Perhaps he knew that Pina Bausch was in the pipeline.

Cannot blame the dancers, but every one on stage save for the Misses Pujol and Daniel staggered about as though they'd rather be out night-clubbing.

Two hours of bedlam, with roughly two minutes worth of actual steps. The current "Directeur de la danse", Brigitte Lefebvre, is one of the Popes of Modern Dance. It shows.

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From the reviews (which are on Links, as Estelle mentioned) the second act was quite different from the first.

I found Ismene Brown's review quite interesting. Estelle, I'll look forward to your longer report after you've seen the second cast.

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